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Farmers and Ranchers

Information For Farmers

Two men standing next to a fence, gazing over a fieldFor more than 70 years, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has been working one-on-one with farmers and rural landowners, providing technical assistance and conservation advice. NRCS works with farmers to develop conservation plans for the whole farm as well as address individual concerns about soil, water and other resources.

Conservation planning is a step beyond mere erosion control. It is helping farmers manage their soil, water, air, plant and animal resources in a way that prevents resource degradation, ensures sustainability, allows for productivity and respects the farmer’s needs. Conservation planning can make improvements to livestock operations, crop production, soil quality, water quality, hayland, forestland and wildlife habitats.

For custom conservation advice for your farm, contact the nearest NRCS office.

Conservation Practices for the Farm

There are many ways to practice conservation on the farm and reap long-term benefits. Some common conservation practices are described in detail on the following handouts.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat DocumentField Borders
Adobe Acrobat DocumentFilter Strips
Adobe Acrobat DocumentGrassed Waterway
Adobe Acrobat DocumentHerbaceous Wind Barriers
Adobe Acrobat DocumentNutrient Management
Adobe Acrobat DocumentResidue Management: Mulch Till
Adobe Acrobat DocumentResidue Management: No Till & Strip Till
Adobe Acrobat DocumentRiparian Forest Buffer
Adobe Acrobat DocumentVegetative Barriers
Adobe Acrobat DocumentWindbreak/Shelterbelt

Understanding Locally Led Conservation

The technical services of the Natural Resources Conservation Service are provided in cooperation with local conservation districts. There are 14 conservation districts in Massachusetts. See the Conservation Partnership for more information, or call the conservation office in your county.

NRCS Conservation Programs

NRCS offers a variety of conservation programs that enhance our technical services. Some programs, like the Massachusetts Soil Survey Program, are a unique service offered by the agency. Others like EQIP, WHIP, FRPP and WRP were created by Congress in the 1996 Farm Bill and are now administered by NRCS. For an overview of each NRCS conservation program, see Conservation Programs.